One student killed, five hurt after truck hits high school cross-country team

Tim Willert and Josh Dulaney The Oklahoman Published 8:51 AM EST Feb 4, 2020

MOORE, Okla. — A female student is dead and five others were injured after a red pickup struck several students near an Oklahoma high school, police said. Around 3:30 p.m.

Monday by Moore High School, a pickup driven by Max Leroy Townsend struck one vehicle, hit the group of students, then struck two more vehicles before coming to a stop, authorities said. The school district identified the student who died as Rachel Freeman. Students were running on the sidewalk when they were hit, Moore Superintendent Robert Romines said.

Police arrested Townsend, 56, on complaints of first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of an injury accident. Authorities said he may have been intoxicated. The area speed limit is 25 mph.

There were “bodies were all over Main Street,” said Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis. “The injuries would indicate he was going faster than the speed limit.” Police said Townsend’s 29-year-old son, Cody Townsend, was killed Sunday near Buck Thomas Park after he rear-ended another vehicle.

The five injured students Monday were transported to OU Medical Center. Three of the five students were in critical condition. Moore Public Schools confirmed that the injured students included two females — Yuridia Martinez and Shiloh Hutchinson.

Three males were injured — Joseph White, Kolby Crum and Ashton Baza. Between 150 and 200 students witnessed the wreck, school officials said. Some students called 911.

Others followed the pickup. “A lot of students witnessed the actual crash and were on the scene when we arrived,” Lewis said. “Some of those actually pointed out the direction the vehicle continued on, which helped us locate the vehicle.” The students who were hit were part of the track and cross country team.

The crash occurred about two blocks east of the school’s athletic complex, authorities said. Dustin Horstkoetter, safety director for Moore Public Schools, was emotional as he told reporters the student-athletes were on a group run. “To come around the corner and see kids and coaches give first aid and help their classmates and their students,” he said. “We live in a real good community.

My heart is hurting and broken.”

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